Monday, January 24, 2011

The Amish

Over the weekend I saw a documentary on the Amish community. It really delved into their society, morals and their way of life. The Amish spend their whole lives focused on family. Everything they do is for, or involves their family. They spend their time as children working with and serving their Mother, Father and siblings. And as they get older they look to find a husband/wife to have a family with. When the children grow up, the parents turn the house over to them. In turn, the children build on to the existing house for their parents to reside in.
They do not go to college. Their schools consist of Reading, arithmetic, and writing. And any other education is God focused. Church services are 4 hours long, and the service is entirely in German!
They were talking about their farms and fields and crops. The one man said they have to carefully review a new piece of machinery before being able to approve and use it. He said "We have to make sure it will not change out daily lives, or our family". The man went on to say that they do not want machines to be too fast. They do not want too much mobility (like cars) because this creates stress and chaos. They want things simple. It may not be the easy way, but it's a less stressful way. It really made me think. Days when I can stay home and clean my house, bake and do chores, I feel so at peace! But the days I have to run to the grocery store, to the library, to the gym...all I want to do is GET HOME!! It makes so much sense, that the more mobile you are, the faster things go, the more stress and chaos you have in your life.
In order to live a (less) stress free life, you have to SLOW DOWN. Cut out the unnecessary things in your life. The craziness. Spend as much time as you can at home (your own little place that you have TOTAL control over). The more time spent at home, together with your family, without outside distractions, the happier your family unit (your own mini community) will be. The more at peace you all will feel.
The other thing the one young man said was that at home, men were not allowed to wear pockets on their shirts. Why? It's amazing really. Because if you have pockets, you can fill them with things. Nice trinkets that say "look at me. Look at what nice stuff I have!". It singles you out and makes other people possibly jealous. In the Amish community no one is to be better, above, singled out. You are supposed to all be equals. How much do we live our lives thinking about the Jones's. Trying to keep up. It's gotta make us happy right? WRONG! Think of how much energy and time is spent on what you could, should have, and not what you DO have. Imagine how HAPPY you would be if you didn't see the things your neighbors had. Or the commercials that tell you "You HAVE to have this". What about if we CHOOSE to ignore it? Not to be wanting to covet what our neighbors had? What about all the money we spend (that we don't have) on "things" and putting ourselves into debt?

let's look at some Bible verses on envy and jealousy -
Proverbs 21
He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
Galatians 6:4 ESV
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
Ecclesiastes 4:4 ESV
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

what about living a simple life?
I love this one!!
Proverbs 15
A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches
So perfect in our world today!
Peace everyone!!

1 comment:

  1. This book is the first hand account of a man who grew up Amish. He describes his family and upbringing in a way that is easy to relate to and hard to put down. He doesnt glamorize the lifestyle and explains interesting aspects of the culture I haven't read before. I think this is the best written autobiography of someone raised Amish and I have read all that I could find. Although the book focuses on the divide between Amish and outside culture, much of it is about adolescence and events within the Amish world that all of us have experienced or can relate to.